Although Sikhs are taught to live in a constant state of thankfulness, there are of course times when that thankfulness is celebrated and shared with others. Such occasions can be the birth of a child, moving to a new home or during Sikh festivals such as the birth of Guru Nanak which is celebrated in November or Vaisakhi, the harvest festival and founding of the Order of the Khalsa which is celebrated in April.
During those times, Sikhs may hold an akhand paath or a continual recitation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib which lasts 48 hours, or invite the Sangat or congregation for a keertan or the singing of verses from the Sikh scripture. All Sikh celebrations conclude with the langar in which all are invited to share a vegetarian meal together.
Sikhs also express thanks by serving others and sharing with the community. Sikhs are taught to give dasvandh or one tenth of their earnings to charitable causes. During celebrations, Sikh Gurdwaras regularly organize blood donor camps and food drives.
Even though Thanksgiving is obviously not a traditional Sikh festival, during the Thanksgiving season Sikhs often make food donations and serve meals to those in need. Here in Canada, we have so much to be thankful for, and times like Thanksgiving are an opportunity for all of us to reflect on just how lucky we are and share what we have with others.
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